The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

sleep filmed eyes

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Altered by timidity and terror, your humble narrator continued down Borden Avenue, and crossing beneath the fecund Pulaski Bridge this totemic awaited. At first, it seemed to be material proof of certain theories and cognitive dissonances, confirmation of deep voids beneath the modern plate of cement which typifies area streets.

Who, after all, can guess what may be buried down there?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Amongst the many things whose worried considerations are enjoyed by one such as myself is the sure knowledge that modern New York City, particularly older sections like Hunters Point in Queens or the business district in Manhattan, is the icing of a very deep layer cake. Foundations of ancient structures, with industrial pipelines, sewer connections, and still extant subterranean warehouse vaults are intricately woven into the ground.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Often, in areas around the malediction known as the Newtown Creek in particular, the expediency required of rapid capital driven entrepreneurial growth has demanded that a property lot be cleared without any clear record left behind of what once occupied the space. This patch of the Creek was raised from the swampy morass which was its natural form sometime in 1861, for instance. The first buildings in Hunters Point were constructed near here, and Borden Avenue itself (although known as first “Ferry Road” and later as “Blissville Road”) was christened only in 1869.

Hunters Point is named for the family of Captain George Hunter, although it has also been called Mespit, Nechtanc’s Hook, Curles Hook, Dominie’s Hook, and Bennet’s Hook before it became referred to by its modern nomenclature.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Ambitious to the point of hubris, the transformation of Hunters Point from “an industrial center which had fallen on hard times” (mainly due to meddling with its zoning by real estate interests and long retired city planners in 1960) to a neighborhood is beginning. Like it or hate it, it’s happening- and “Hunters Point South” is shaking free of the twin shackles of an economic downturn and municipal bureaucracy. The behemoth project promises to reveal much that is hidden in the ground, whether it be those venomous environmental inheritances- contamination from some long ago refinery or chemical plant- or the archaeological remains of the early colonial or aboriginal inhabitants.

In the midst of all the historical reminisce, a rustle from behind me forced remembrance of why I had come here…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spectral, a companion had latched onto me earlier in the day. It was that day when I finally located the grave of Calvary Cemetery’s first interment (Esther Ennis, 1848), stepped in a dead rabbit, picked up a paranormal companion on my long walk, found myself in a state of “stupendous ruin“, and soon realized that my perceptions had grown “bafflingly homogeneous“. According to occult specialists and paranormal experts, eldritch entities are somehow connected to and can access the ambient electromagnetic spectrum as evidenced by cold spots in haunted houses and the rapid draining of camera batteries in similar locations. (I can report that my Canon battery functions normally within area cemeteries, however)

Long Island City… LIC is all about power and always has been.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In 1881, when the goody two shoe reformers in Manhattan outlawed gambling and bookmaking, the “operation” moved to Hunters Point. In 1890, things were going so well that the Queens County Bank was built on 2nd street. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the “800 pound gorilla” built its powerhouse, and it would be another 20 years until the tunnels to Manhattan were finished which allowed the new subway system to cross under the river via the miracle of electrical motility.

Under the ground here, raw electrical power exists in cascades…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My shadowy passenger, whose identity I suspected but cannot prove, seemed to shudder at the thought of crossing the river of electrical cables which underlie this section of the waterfront. Emboldened by its trepidation, I set off down 2nd street, and headed for Tower Town where no shadow can be found. Atavist fear and horror struck panics aside, your humble narrator is no stranger to the mythologies and common tropes of the occult…

Haunt my house? I’ll fill the carpet steamer with holy water…

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

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  1. […] This is the final installment detailing my experiences in western Queens, on that day when I finally located the grave of Calvary Cemetery’s first interment (Esther Ennis, 1848), stepped in a dead rabbit, picked up a paranormal companion on my long walk, found myself in a state of “stupendous ruin“, soon realized that my perceptions had grown “bafflingly homogeneous“, and that my senses had become occluded due to “sleep filmed eyes“. […]

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